Danish urban park and Bangladeshi green-roofed training centre among winners

Part of the 1km Superkilen park, Copenhagen

A multicultural urban park in Copenhagen and an NGO residential centre in a flood-prone region of Bangladesh are among the six diverse winners of the recently announced Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is given every three years and recognises ‘building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which muslims have a significant presence’.

Superkilen, completed in 2012, is a 1km urban park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, designed by architect BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, artist Superflex and landscape architect TOPOTEK 1 in collaboration with the – largely muslim – local community. As well as new pedestrian and cycle routes linking the area back into the city, and playfully executed public spaces, the park has been made residents’ own by introducing objects from their 62 countries, including a swing bench from Baghdad, a star-shaped fountain from Morocco, chess tables from Sofia, and basketball hoops from Mogadishu.

The NGO Friendship training centre, in Gaibandha, Bangladesh, completed in 2011 by architect Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury with URBANA, responded to its flood-prone setting by building an earthen embankment around the site. Within this, buildings are organised around a series of pavilions, courtyards and reflecting pools. Rainwater is absorbed by green rooftops and collected by large tanks.

The other winners were: Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka by Marina Tabassum, delicately lit by naatural light; Issam Fares Institute building for the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, by Zaha Hadid Architects; the dramatic multi-level Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge, Tehran, Iran, by architect Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi; and Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre, Beijing by ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke built around a 600 year old tree.

The awards were announced in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 3 October. Full details of all award winners here


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